A mixed bag of results across their football and netball competitions did little to stop the Broadford Football Netball Club from enduring a successful first weekend in the AFL Outer East competition.
With strong spectator numbers and a great vibe among the crowd, the feeling of being at Harley Hammond Reserve was enough to make anyone feel excited about being part of the action at Broadford.
Finally getting its opportunity to start in the Outer East competition, albeit 12 months later, Club President Bonnie Cavanagh was upbeat about the weekend, saying it was a great experience for everyone involved.
“I think it was very successful, obviously the results in our football sides weren’t exactly what we wanted, however, after such a long transition into AFL Outer East and a big refresh for the club, it was extremely successful,” Cavanagh said.
“We had a massive crowd, the best we have seen for the last 10 years and we had a lot of life members coming back to the club which made it great to see the place up and going again, so I would still call it a big success for us.”
The first weekend in the Outer East competition for the Kangaroos saw their football sides easily accounted for by Yea with the seniors losing by 45 points, reserves by 23 points and the Under 17’s by 91 points.
The netball teams enjoyed better success on the court across the day, winning three out of four matches with the A grade side losing by just two points.
The great vibe that possessed the Broadford community across the day came as a sense of relief for the football department in particular.
The Kangaroos fielded their first Under 17’s team for more than three years, while the reserves also initially struggled for numbers to field a side and the seniors had many young, new faces for the 2021 season.
Fielding a team for the Under 17’s competition is regarded as a huge win for the club as this is ultimately what feeds into the senior teams and the club now looks forward to see how the three sides fare in a new league.
In the netball department, there is a great mix of familiar faces and new players signed up for the year, with some great leaders already beginning to come through.
All players in the A grade team are local young girls, with none of them brought in from other teams or leagues to fill the side.
Additionally, a key focus within the netball department is to implement youthful talent into the A grade team.
Despite the mix of results across the day and some of the difficulties incurred to get their playing numbers up, the morale of the club was upbeat, with Broadford’s key characteristic of being resilient showing positive signs as they set about continuing to enjoy their community sport again.
“From our volunteers through to the players, we’re not only excited to be back playing football and netball, but in a place where we feel at home,” Cavanagh said.
“Returning to country football and netball is exactly what we needed for such a small town and a small community, it’s all positive for us.”
One of the greatest aspects of the club that entices people to be involved is the strong culture that possesses the Broadford community which is being reflected across every department.
Regaining the clubs sense of pride and staying connected with the wider community is a key goal for Broadford which in time is hoped will display its positive benefits on field.
“We are a community club, it’s not just about the football or the netball, it’s about the people and bringing in the families and the entire community to make them feel proud that we are their football and netball club,” Cavanagh explained.
“While the football and netball is flying, we are all positive and have got great people, my goal as president is to make sure everyone feels connected, supported and really proud to be part of our club and the wider community.”